Minnesota Indian tribes are mourning the loss of Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) Chairman Stanley Crooks, who passed away today at St. Francis Medical Center in Shakopee, MN.
Crooks, 70, had led MIGA since 1992, shortly after being elected to his first term as chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. He brought unprecedented stability and continuity to his tribe and MIGA during more than two decades of service.
“It is hard to find the words to express the extent of the loss we have suffered today,” said MIGA Executive Director John McCarthy. “Chairman Crooks was one of the most respected and admired leaders in all of Indian country, but he was also a beloved friend and colleague to many of us who have worked with him over the past twenty years.”
Under Crooks’ leadership, MIGA became an influential advocate on behalf of tribes in Minnesota and nationally.“Stan Crooks was a tireless warrior for sovereignty and tribal rights,” said McCarthy. “He wasn’t afraid to take on the tough fights, even when it meant going toe to toe with powerful politicians in St. Paul as well as Washington DC. For Stan, it was all about protecting the future so tribes wouldn’t have to repeat the past.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.